Old friend alert: Geoff Schwartz wrote this week’s MMQB while Peter King is on vacation. Click here to go read it. As you would expect from Geoff, it’s a good read.
There is one section in there I wanted to highlight because it shows just how little we as fans know about the game.
Geoff talked about Outside Zone principles and brought in his brother and Chiefs RT Mitch Schwartz to explain it.
Traditional Outside Zone starts with the running back chasing the inside leg of the TE. That’s the landmark he's given to stay on course. His read is the DE, back inside to the DT. If the DE plays with the OL, which they’re typically coached to do in the scheme, then he looks inside to see how the DT is playing. If the DT is also running with the OL, and maintaining his gap integrity, then the running back cuts even behind him. This is where you commonly hear “one cut.” The RB has been on his angle, running towards the inside leg of the TE, but once both the DE and DT have committed to running laterally with the OL, he cuts the ball behind them. A common way of saying this is that he “cuts back,” but coaches in this scheme don’t like that term. They like to say “cut up” because the best running backs in this scheme get vertical when they cut up, they don’t start running backwards from the flow of the offense, otherwise the defenders from the backside will catch up to them. The nature of this scheme is that the outside defender will play outside, defending his “contain” responsibility, and so the RB will never truly get outside of the defense. Some RBs get to know that, and will cheat by cutting up too soon, but this ruins the flow and integrity of the play. The best RBs “press the line,” which means they stay on that angle for as long as they can, which then helps bring defenders towards them, brings defenders to the offensive line (we work as a unit, and their ability to stay on track for as long as possible is crucial to our success on this type of play), and will end up defining the read much better for them.
This is what goes into one type of play. I mean, that’s ... incredible. I also appreciate this because it shows just how little most of us know about football and just how much these offensive linemen need to know.
Read the rest of his MMQB here.